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Everything You Need To Know About The SAFE Test

So you're in the process of getting your NMLS license. You know the states you are getting licensed in, you've found the company to operate and originate loans under, you've taken your 20 hour course and now, it's time for testing. But what is the SAFE test like, exactly? How difficult is the test? How many questions? 


Undoubtedly you have plenty of questions about the SAFE test and you want to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for it. This page will answer any questions that you have about the test and make sure you are on the right track to passing it with flying colors!


How do I know what test I should be taking?

The SAFE has made testing a lot easier in the past few years. There is only one test required nationally for all MLOs. 


If you are getting licensed in Minnesota or West Virginia, you will need to take an additional state test. You can find additional test prep materials for those states Prometrics NMLS Test Page.


How many questions are on the SAFE test?

There are 125 multiple choice questions on the test, 115 of which are scored. Those 10 unscored questions will not count either for you or against you. 


How should I be studying for the SAFE test?

Mortgage Educators offers a SAFE test prep course that is included with all 20 hour pre-licensing courses. If you did not take your 20 hour course with MEC, you can purchase that test prep course separately. MEC recommends a minimum of 20 hours of SAFE test studying once the 20 hour course has been completed to ensure full comprehension. 


IMPORTANT: Take into account that the SAFE test is very difficult. The mortgage industry is a large one, with lots of information for the NMLS to pull test questions from. Expect questions that you may not know the answers to because you have not been exposed to them yet. That is expected. Mortgage education companies are given a basic outline for what could be on the test and build their test prep courses off of that. Just study the study guide included with your 20 hour SAFE course as best as you can and answer the questions to the best of your ability.


Where do I take my test?

The SAFE test is administered in a Prometric testing location. You CANNOT take it online. These testing locations can be found all over the country and are strategically placed to provide accessible testing for everyone. 


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How do I sign up for my test?

The first step in getting signed up for the SAFE test is to pay for the test. You will pay for the course on the NMLS website.


1. Log in to your NMLS account and click on the NMLS Navigation tab on the left side of the screen.


2. On the NMLS Navigation page, click the MLO Testing & Education button.


3. On the MLO Testing page, click Pay for a Test.


4. This will bring you to a page where you will select the testing that you will be adding to your cart. Click Select by State and on the following screen, select the states in which you are getting licensed. Click the checkmarks next to the tests and add them to your cart.


5. Once these courses are added to your cart, you will need to read and sign the Candidate Agreement. 


6. Once the Candidate Agreement is accepted, you will be brought to the Pay Invoice screen. You can pay for your course with a credit card or through a bank account.


My course is paid for, now what?

Now that your course is paid for, it's time to schedule your test. Visit the Prometrics NMLS Test Page and click Schedule My Test. Click Next and agree to the Privacy Policy.


1. Fill in the Eligibility Information boxes with your NMLS ID, first name and last name.


2. On the next screen, select which test you will be taking. Most loan officers will only select the SAFE MLO Test option. Click Next. 


3. Now you will search for a testing center. Search an address to find the nearest testing center to that location.


4. Select the date and time for your test. 


5. Fill in any additional information needed from Prometric. 


6. Verify the appointment and complete the scheduling.


PRO TIP: PRINT OUT YOUR CONFIRMATION and take it with you to the testing center.


What should I take with me to the testing center?

You will need to take a form of official ID that includes your name, signature and a recent photo. This includes: valid driver's license, passport, or military ID card. The name on your ID MUST MATCH the name that you used to schedule your test. Any other items that you bring with you to the testing center much be stowed in a locker.


Do I need to be early to the testing center?

You should plan to be at the testing center 30 minutes prior to your testing time. This will allow you plenty of time to complete all check-in procedures. You will be photographed at the testing center. IF YOU ARRIVE LATE YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TAKE YOUR TEST.